Meet Dakota!

Dakota is a graduate of the K9 Heights 4 week Board and Train program. When I first met this family, Dakota and her brother Caesar put on quite a show during the evaluation. Dakota was super affectionate but a wild child, a jumper, and she was a chewer to the point that she had destroyed most of the furniture. Adding to the dilemma, Dakota gave her mom a super hard time when Emily tried to crate her. These two companions had the family restructuring their entire lives just to manage the chaos, which is why they contacted K9 Heights Dog Training. They needed a complete transformation in their home.



How Does Transformation Take Place?


Anyone who’s spoken with me about dog training knows I talk a lot about structure, about boundaries, limits, and something called “earning the paycheck.” Whether you’re starting a new puppy off on the right paw or trying to establish a new paradigm with a dog who has developed some serious canine behavioral problems, it must start here for success. There’s no magic wand, no short cut. Teaching, guiding, rewarding appropriate behavior and providing meaningful consequences for bad behavior is the only way. Above all, consistence is key. Our dogs don’t do well with grey areas. A great starting place to learn more about developing the right dynamic with your dog is my Key to a Successful Dog series. The first article is here. Learn how to use food and toys to gain relevance and build a great bond with your dog.

Dakota’s family and I spoke about this and I knew right away that they were committed to this process. Not everyone is. Even people dealing with aggressive dogs, dogs that run the house, are bratty and happy to “play bite” their owners, are often not ready to do what works. Frequently people equate being strict, setting limits, and yes, even ,correcting, with being mean. Huge difference, I’m talking worlds of difference, between being fair and strict, and being mean.

Dakota on Place at home

Often the meanest thing we do to our dogs is to be overly permissive without teaching them what to do with that freedom. The worst cases I get, dogs who are aggressive, fearful, neurotic, full of anxiety, don’t come from abuse situations. The worst cases, almost always, are from loving homes. Homes where the dog has never had to learn the most basic lesson in life for any of us living on this planet. In life, there are rules, and there are rewards and consequences for every choice.


A New Beginning


Dakota’s family agreed, they also agreed that they were ready for the work that would take place once the dogs came home. Dog training and achieving true transformations is only possible with serious change. Working with this family is wonderful. They get it. Right from the beginning, I always council clients that the real work starts when the dog returns to their old environment. They will push limits, test resolve, see if mom is really serious about this new routine. That’s the key. If we don’t change our paradigm, the dog will happily return to their former ways. But Dakota’s family is committed, and that’s what creates success in dog training.

When we took Dakota home for the first lesson with her family, Emily did great. It doesn’t matter what a dog will do for us. It matters what they’ll do, reliably, for their family. That’s why we work so closely with them during the time following the Board and Train. That’s where transformation and success happen. Check out the video and see what you think.

It is a great joy to work with wonderful people. I can’t say enough good things about this kind, committed family. Dakota’s mom said she is doing great and I look forward to our follow up lesson!

Eric has been helping owners regain their lives and enjoy their companions for 10 years. Eric's experience runs from rehabilitating aggressive dogs, tackling the toughest behavioral challenges, and training service dogs, to training narcotics dogs and hunting dogs. As well as anything in between. A Michigan native, Eric learned his craft apprenticing under two long time trainers in Colorado and went on to teach dozens of other trainers as well as countless pet owners.

4 responses to “K9 Heights Dog Training Blog-Transformations: Dakota

Posted by Emily

You certainly made it easy for us! The work you did with Dakota was so amazing and you really walked me through the process and importance of reinforcing her training. As I mentioned when you and Juliana were here for the first in-home lesson, the information you provided in the coming-home packet and throughout Dakota’s time with you was so persuasive and informative, but not overwhelming. I was so nervous about her return and whether I was up to the task. You, Juliana, and Dakota quickly put me at ease. I can’t thank you enough and I can’t wait to continue this journey with you guys and Dakota and Caesar!

Posted on February 17, 2018 at 12:47 PM

Posted by Alanna

Great blog! I will continue to follow and gain knowledge from your expertise Eric. Looking forward to weekly blogs and helpful advice and tips for my training of my boy. Thank you for sharing and for your commitment to all your followers, clients, friends and family.

Posted on February 15, 2018 at 8:48 PM

Posted by Vicky G.

Great video. Dakota has come a long way and nice to see her owner handle her so well.

Posted on February 13, 2018 at 10:32 PM

Posted by Judy Grider

You’re Appreciated
Thank you for sharing your experiences and knowledge and expertise in training our family pets. I’m putting this into practical application with my new puppy it’s a hard going but the reward is beyond belief and why I’m surprised I don’t know. I’ve seen it time and time again with other families that have train their dogs it has had great success. Thank you again Eric. Very informative. I look forward to reading more of your blog on a weekly basis

Posted on February 13, 2018 at 5:20 PM

Comments are closed.

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